— LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT Hallelujah! Hooray!   Hot-Ziggety-Zag!  Hot-Diggety Dog! Hot Scud Catfish! et al….! What brings on this plethora of expletives of joy? Well, not much materially – but HUGE in its implications. Recall the concept of “person-centered?” Well, a progressive step has been taken by the “provider” of my Long Term Care home. My ALF. Toward that end. “One small step for man. . . “ No.  Not that one. In fact, it was a  non-pedal activity; …

— What do we do with dear old dad? Or sweet old mom? Or both? So muse the adult children of parents who are septuagenarians , or octogenarians, or nonagenarians, or centenarians, or, .. . God forbid  –  supercentenarians? What do we do with them? Where do we put them? To the rescue – Long Term Care, or LTC. Sanctioned by the Federal Government. Sanctioned by each State. A profit center for the large hostelier. A non-profit for charitable entities. A …

—     I wish these written letters could morph into the sounds they signify,  then you’d get the genuine sound of . . . what to call it? It’s not really abuse – but it’s not really respect, either, and it shoots to hell the declaration of “dignity,” which many – all, really – LTC facilities claim as their “holy grail.” After all, we are “elders,” with all the sacrosanct connotations the word embraces. Me? I’m eighty-four. A decrepit vessel …

— Dick Weinman is an AARP volunteer and an assisted living guru Like the Norse legends of old, the saga of Zip-Locks and Other Stuff never ends. Here is the next chapter. As I first encountered the frustrating obstacle to gastronomic pleasure at rehearsals (you recall the zip-lock bag and the cherry tomatoes. If not, click on the link in the first sentence above), so I faced the second challenge to my disability, while tasting the freedom of life outside of …

— Dick Weinman is an AARP volunteer and an assisted living guru When I left rehearsals one summer’s night, I had an opportunity to enjoy one of the best and simplest joys of the season. (Yes! Despite my battered body, nonfunctioning  hands, and wheelchair mobility, I fulfill my long time desire to act. . . as long as it’s the Readers Theatre – where the short-term memory loss of an eighty-three year old and the inability to move around in a set, doesn’t …

— Awakening Redux II, by Dick Weinman, The Thin Edge of Dignity As a resident of an ALF, with my cognition still intact, “senior moments” at a minimum, not yet in the haze of dementia, I’m aware of “the geriatric communication mode” which seems to be, smile and speak in an ascending high pitch. I know all about smiley voices. It’s not just the caregivers or people talking to old folks. I once was a smiley voice. As a Voice Over …

— Awakening Redux I, by Dick Weinman, The Thin Edge of Dignity “Darkness shows through the windows, a few stars flicker, the moon is a lighted roundness, an orange haze circles the top of the street light.” Those were the opening words of the second blog I wrote about my life in an Assisted Living Facility (ALF). “Rise and Shine: Waking at the ALF” was posted in the fall of 2013; however, I entered the ALF in 2006. At the time, …

— Everyone’s Daughter, by Dick Weinman, The Thin Edge of Dignity She’s here every morning. When I go to breakfast in the dining room at my ALF, there she is, sharing a coffee moment with her mother. Some days she’s here twice, mornings before she goes to work, and at dinner at 5:00, after she returns from her work. It’s not just her mother who benefits from her care and affection, it’s everyone who happens to be gathered for the meal. …

— You’ll Never Walk Alone, by Dick Weinman, The Thin Edge of Dignity The uplifting melody and inspirational lyric of You’ll Never Walk Alone, have made the Rodgers and Hammerstein song a hymn-like source of hope for millions of people around the world – even for the Liverpool football team. It’s their team song. The song’s title also has special meaning for me. At eighty-two, I’m on the final journey of my life. Disabled, I’m in need of a caring hand …

— How? Who? Why? – Questions of Care, by Dick Weinman, The Thin Edge of Dignity I stand with my back toward her, my pants tugging my ankles. I bend over, and grasp the cold metal handicap bar. She wields the toilet paper, extends her arm, and wipes. I should be glad. I can’t do for myself. Toileting me is one of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and one of the reasons I pay $5000+ each month for my residency …